PEPYS, SAMUEL (1633-1703, diarist, Secretary of the Admiralty and book collector)
'Haveing in our enquiries after the Good or Ill behaviour of his Ma[jes]t[i]es Officers in his Yard at Chatham Rec[eive]d some grounds to Suspect that John Wilde Seamer of his Mates Yard wilbee found guilty of some miscarriages, the blame of which ought reasonably to bee granted in him by his Roy[a]ll Highness late indulgence to him under his late miscarriages where with hee stood Charged; and understanding that much light may be given you herein by ye Persons named in the Margine [Reynold Carryer, Andrew Carpent[e]r, Edw[a]rd Grigg, Humphr[e]y Tunbridge, Henry Hartnopp], whome ye spareing of Charge & losse of time to them wee being unwilling to summon up to Towne till wee can in some measure understand the Effect of theire evidences, Wee desire to call them before you, praying & requireing them in our names to discover in behalfe of his Maty what they know of any practices of the said Wildes that have beene in any wise detrimentall to the King. Wherein you are to enjoyne them to Speake ye Trueth as they will justyfie the same upon Oath. And if you shall thinke it requisite to bee assisted herein by a Justice of Peace for ye more solemnity in ye doeing of it Wee would have to repaire to ye present Mayor of Rochester or any other Justice of the Peace neer hand to whome wee make it our request that hee will assist you on his Mates behalfe in takeing ye exanimations of these persons or any others hee or you shall thinke convenient to have taken on this occasion. Which when done wee pray you to transmitt to use...'
The word 'seamer' (here presumably relating to sail making) is not recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary as used before 1843, where it has the meaning of a person involved in making stockings. It was not until the nineteenth century that ships' sails could be made from a single sheet of canvas; before then smaller sections were sewn together.